Friday, July 15, 2011


A friend of mine wanted me to review the books I've read this year. Since getting my Kindle at Christmas I have read 35 books. What I have liked is the $2.00-$9.00 books that I might have missed had I not had my Kindle. Some are not well known, but I have enjoyed them a lot. I enjoy fiction over nonfiction, but I also read a lot of historical nonfiction. Book series also catch my attention.

Let's look at the two book series that I have read.

Paul Clayton is the author of a three-book historical series on the Spanish Conquest of Florida. The three books are Calling Crow, Flight of the Crow and Calling Crow Nation.

The second series that I really got into was The Ark Chronicles. This is a series of four books that takes you all the way from Noah building the Ark to the Tower of Babel being destroyed. The four books written by Vaughn Heppner were: People of the Ark, People of the Flood, People of Babel and People of the Tower.

Of the other 28 books I have read, here are my top ten:

#1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett: A young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interested in the plight of the black maids that every white family has working for them. She writes their stories about mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks of working in white families' homes, just before the Civil Rights revolution. I can't wait to see the movie.

#2. The Concubine's Daughter by Pai Kit Fai: In 1906 China, newborn Li is nearly murdered by her father because she is a girl. After she rebels against having her feet bound, she is sold on her eighth birthday to a silk merchant. Capt. Devereaux rescues and marries her. Li is then stalked by an enemy of her husband, and fearing for her baby girl, she has the child taken to safety in the mountains. The little girl learns about her family and returns to face her own troubles, as WWII is about to begin.

#3. The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch:  A midwife is accused of witchcraft and murder. Jakob must legally torture her for the guilty verdict the village council wants. However, Jakob doesn't believe she's guilty, and takes it upon himself to find the real murderer.

#4. The Centurion's Wife by Janette Oke: This is biblical fiction focused around a minor character in the Bible, a Roman soldier whose young servant was healed by Jesus. The centurion, Alban, seeks advancement in the Roman government and an unwilling bride, Leah, whose family's economic problems have forced her into servitude in Pilate's household, who has recently condemned Jesus to death.

#5. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Mora: Centers around the children of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, twins Alexander and Selene and younger brother Ptolemy. They are in great danger, left to the mercy of their father's greatest rival, Octavian Caesar. However, Caesar does not kill them, but takes them to Rome to be paraded around as part of his triumphant return and to demonstrate his power. They grow into adulthood in Rome.

#6. Traitor's Wife by Susan Hgginbotham:  The story of Eleanor le Despenser, niece of Edward II and wife of Hugh le Despenser. As lady-in-waiting to Queen Isabella, Eleanor enjoys her privileged position in the English court until doubts about her uncle and his relationship with her husband begin.

#7. White Seed by Paul Clayton: Is historical fiction about seventeen year old Maggie Hagger, who is indentured for four years to John White, to care for his pregnant daughter as they cross the Atlantic and settle in America. She expects the Virginia Colony to be a paradise, which she soon discovers it is not.

#8. Room by Emma Donoghue: This disturbing story is told from the perspective of a five-year-boy, Jack, who is being held captive in a small room along with his mother.

#9. The Damascus Way by Davis Bunn: Julia has everything except for acceptance by either the Gentiles or the Jews. Her Greek father already has a family, leaving Julia and her Hebrew mother miserable as second-class citizens until they are introduced to followers of The Way. The second main character, Jacob, is attempting to discover his own place as a Christian. He is concerned that being serious about his faith means trading away the excitement of being a caravan guard. Jacob also passes letters and messages between various communities of believers and is shocked to find Julia is also a messenger.

#10. Rebekah's Journey by Ann Bell: Due to traumatic family circumstances, Rebekah Bradford is forced to sign an indentured servant contract, leave London and work for a Philadelphia Quaker family. Rebecca is obsesses with avenging her father's death, while saving money to care for her dying mother and providing an education for her brothers back in England.

Let me know what you think I should add to the other 40 books waiting on my wish list, which includes: The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War by Michael Shaara, The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, Washington's Lady (Ladies of History Series), The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker and Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick, just to name a few.

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